NEWS

Fourth Turkish research vessel sets sail for Cyprus

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Turkey’s Oruc Reis research vessel appeared to be on its way to Cyprus on Tuesday, a week after the country’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it would.

The vessel departed  from Istanbul port on Tuesday and was apparently heading for the port of Tasucu in southern Turkey, opposite Cyprus’ northern coast, where it will probably refuel before starting its activities.

The Oruc Reis will become the fourth vessel Turkey has dispatched in the region, in what is seen as a plan to encircle Cyprus – with the Fatih and Yavuz drillships active off the western and eastern coast of the island and the Barbaros research vessel to the south.

In Athens, officials are trying to assess whether, through these moves, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is simply testing the limits of Greece and Cyprus or whether he intends to take matters further and force a full-on crisis.